CLASSMATE SPOTLIGHT:Â Bill Hart
Out of law school, after a stint at the New Hampshire State Senate Research office, Bill worked in a small firm in Newburyport doing general practice work, focused mostly on criminal law, with some small business clients.
After several years one of his business clients asked if he would join them in a start-up, designing and manufacturing private label home specialty goods. Bill explains, â€œThey needed a manager who understood contracts, bills of lading, and letters of credit; not sure I did either, but I said yes.â€
Two years later they sold the business, which Bill says was good, but he found himself out of work. He took a job prosecuting for the Londonderry New Hampshire Police Department. Two and a half years later, Bill was elected Rockingham County Attorney, beating a 20-year incumbent. After two terms, Bill left to return to private practice, which he now says, â€œI couldn’t stand.â€
A call came from an old friend, who was then the police chief in Londonderry. He asked Bill if he would be willing to come aboard as a captain to run the business side of the police department. â€œMay 1, 2000, at age 45, I started,â€ recounts Bill. In November of that year he attended the 124th police academy, graduating the following February at the top of his class, winning the Kehas award as outstanding recruit and the Physical Training (PT) award for the highest PT score.
He spent nine years as a captain in services, and took office as chief in February 2009. In 2012, the town faced some serious organizational and potentially alarming legal issues. When the town manager left, the political leaders of the community asked if he would act as interim town manager. Beginning June 2012, he served as both chief and interim town manager until September 2013, welcoming and training his current boss as part of his duties.
Bill feels that BC Law, together with the lifetime friends he made there, is one of the important influences on his career. â€œIndeed it is for me, after family and the U.S. Marine Corps, the most important building block of my career.â€
Having served in the U.S. Marines for three years (1976 to 1979), Bill went to law school because he â€œbelieves now, and did then, in the idea that what we each individually do makes a difference in the world.â€Â He further explains his motivation: â€œI believe in what Robert F. Kennedy said in a place far away, at a time long ago:
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
I went to law school because here in the United States the language of that aspirationÂ its that sentiment.â€